Dodge Dart to Retire in September
While it doesn’t come as a huge surprise, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) group announced that production of the Dodge Dart will cease sometime in September, heralding the end of the sporty compact sedan. This announcement follows Sergio Marchionne’s comments earlier this year suggesting that the Dart was on its way out of the lineup.
When the FCA rolled out the Dodge Dart back in 2012, the hope was that this new compact sedan would see similar success to that of the Dodge Neon from the late 1990s and early 2000s. The new Dart officially went on sale in June of 2012 with 202 units sold, but by the end of that calendar year, sales of the Dart had quickly risen up to 6,105 units in December. The company sold 25,303 Darts in that short first sales year, but the numbers would increase substantially for 2013.
Dodge Dart sales continued to grow through April 2013 when the company sold 8,099 examples of the sporty little sedan, but from that point on, sales took a year-long slide that would bottom out at just 4,888 units in February of 2014. For 2013, the company sold 83,388 Darts followed by 83,858 units in 2014 and 89,628 units sold in 2015. Sales would occasionally spike for the Dart, with 8,644 units sold in May 2014, 9,012 units sold in November 2014 and 9,572 in March 2015, but the compact Dodge never really came close to competing with other cars in the segment.
Ultimately, between June 2012 and June 2016, the company sold 311,256 Darts – less than the sales figures for the segment’s bestsellers for a single year. The Dart didn’t sell badly compared to some other vehicles in the FCA lineup, but it sold very poorly compared to the rest of the vehicles in the segment. After just five years in the system FCA will end production of the sporty little sedan.
The plants currently assembling the Dart will build the more profitable Ram and Jeep vehicles, CEO Sergio Marchionne said Wednesday.
“We announced the re-industrialization of the U.S. manufacturing footprint a couple of quarters ago,” Marchionne said during an analysts’ conference call to discuss the automaker’s second quarter financial results. “By the time we’re finished with this, hopefully, all of our production assets in the United States — exclude Canada and Mexico from the fold — will be producing either Jeeps or Rams.”
In Canada, FCA will continue to build the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans at its Windsor plant and the Dodge Challenger and Charger muscle cars and Chrysler 300 full-size sedan at the Brampton facility, Marchionne has said.